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The Daily Rundown

News/Business. NBC's Chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd discusses the day's top political stories. New.

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  MSNBC    The Daily Rundown    News/Business. NBC's Chief White House correspondent  
   Chuck Todd discusses the day's top political stories. New.  

    February 27, 2013
    6:00 - 6:59am PST  

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all right. hey, welcome back to "morning joe." let's face it, stuff you don't care about, that we don't care about it. this morning, i got something you care about. i just found out that mark halperin went to a barry manilow concert once with -- >> senator larry craig. >> why? >> was in washington -- >> did you find it strange that the guy kept going to the bathroom? >> a good time was had by all. >> i write the songs, and larry craig is in the bathroom again. >> he did fall for an encore of "look like we made it." >> barry manilow concert. >> who had the wide stance, him or you? >> who had the wide stance? him or you? >> i'll say, sugar, fat, salt, all good. >> delicious! >> what'd you learn?
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>> it's time. he tells me it's time. >> she needs more shoes. >> my first concert, paul simon. >> really? >> boom! >> and today, dirty! that was insulting to women. >> what was insulting to women? >> what you said? >> i put the blueberries inside the -- >> she came and she gave without taking. >> now here's our chuck todd. tough love. the nation's leaders, our new polls the country thinks sequester is bad, but they also think it's better than nothing. and a lack of faith in washington is souring the overall outlook. up on capitol hill, a bit of historic irony today, as president obama dedicates a statue honoring civil rights legend rosa parks and the supreme court hears a challenge to a key piece of the landmark 1965 voting rights act.
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their decision could change things for many voters in the south. and speaking of cosmic chances, russia's run-in with a meteorite was a surprise shake up for the whole planet, literally. we'll talk to the only physicist in congress about why he says the u.s. isn't ready for the next hit. >> good morning from shoreland narc park in new zealand. it's wednesday, february 27th, 2008. >> it's really tomorrow there. thanks to our good friend, reid wilson for sending us that video all the way from new zealand. let's get right to my first reads of the morning. americans may be sharply divided over the wisdom of the automatic across the board spending cuts that will hit friday, but they agree on this. their patience is wearing thin as washington stumbles into another manufactured budget crisis. as republicans continue to say he's playing politics, the president took his pr campaign to newport news, virginia, a
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ship building town heavily dependent on military spending. >> these cuts are wrong. they're not smart. they're not fair. there's a sensible way of doing things and there's a dumb way of doing things. >> the president has used every political pr weapon in his arsenal to raise public fears over the sequester. and tuesday, members of his cabinet issued some dire warnings. >> it is going to be hard. there is going to be pain and the american people are going to be less safe. that is just a fundamental reality. >> our poll finds the campaign to demonize the sequester is working. 52% call the sequestration idea a bad one. just 21% say it's a good idea. but the american public doesn't like the idea of doing nothing either. 53% said they'd like congress to move forward with a plan with either the same amount or even more spending cuts. and the republican's cut spending message is breaking through a bit.
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though 50% believe cuts in the sequester are too severe, 46% believe it's time for dramatic measures to reduce the deficit and are willing to let them happen, even if they believe they are bad policy. so mixed bag there. this is the fifth budget show d showdown in two years and the bitterness and rancor is even becoming vulgarity. >> we should not have to move a third bill before the senate gets off their ass and begins to do something. >> i was raised in a little town that had 13 brothels in it, so i'm used to some pretty salty language. i think he should understand who is sitting on their posterior. the speaker is doing nothing to try to pass anything over there. >> and the president's a master at creating the impression of chaos as an excuse for government action. >> i don't think they're even kicking the can down the road, i think they're nudging the potato across the table with their nose. >> wow. so all the acrimony is taking its toll. it's souring the public on washington's ability to get
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anything done. this number is a striking one. 51% say these clashes in washington make them less confident the economy as a whole can get better. just 16% say budget negotiations, or the lack thereof, make them more confident about the economy. that's consumer confidence, folks. and it's affecting the public's overall mood. after four months of somewhat more optimistic views on the direction of the country, our survey shows slippage. 59% now say the country is back off the wrong track. just 32% say it's headed in the right direction. lowest numbers we've had in a few months. views of washington may not be getting anytime soon. last night, speaker boehner confirmed he doesn't expect a deal to happen this week. >> the reality is that this is going to happen on friday. >> at this point, i would agree. it looks that way. but hope springs eternal. >> the only idea for some sequestration fix that appears to have any life in it at all is one that would set financial targets, but allow the administration the flexibility
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to achieve them. but that idea is being shot down in a bipartisan basis. >> when you're cutting $85 billion in seven months, which represents over a 10% cut in the defense budget in seven months, there's no smart way to do that. >> i was speaking for myself. i would be happy to give the president more flexibility. there are some members of our conference who are suspicious that the administration, take advantage of such flexibility, would seek to punish their political enemies. >> senate majority leader harry reid has moved to set up a likely vote tomorrow on democrats and their alternative plan to replace the automatic cuts with this combo, starting a minimum tax for incomes over $1 million, ending some tax deductions, like one for moving equipment overseas, and making cuts to defense and farm subsidies. reid said yesterday republicans would have one vote on their own replacement bill, not multiple votes. democratic aides say that aid
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bill is still being drafted, so what will the fallout be of all of this. while 43% believe the president is emphasizing a partisan approach instead of trying to unify the country, a whopping 64% say republicans have a partisan approach to governing. that brings us to more on this poll. with the public mood souring, the president is also starting to get nicked a bit. it appears his mini post-election honeymoon is over. his job rating has slipped. it's still a healthy 50%, 45% disapprove of his performance, and it's still better than when he was during most of the campaign, but down from his numbers in december and january. just 44% approve of the president's handling of the number one issue for the public, the economy. that's down five points from a month ago. in the first few weeks of the president's second term, more people say that their opinion of the president has gotten worse compared to those who say it's gotten better. 60% say their opinion hasn't
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changed. but the president is the tall guy at a short guy convention. though the country doesn't love ft. as much, perhaps, they really don't like the alternative. we're a broken record here, if you will. our poll shows the republican brand in bad shape. it seem like we say that every month in this poll. we're coming up on nearly three straight years of the gop's image being upsidedown. it's 17 points underwater in this poll. 46% have a negative view of the party. 29% view it positively. democrats are in positive territory, 41% view the party positively, 36% negatively. and when respondents we are asked about whether they agree or agree about what the democrats, republicans, and the president are supposed to do, the country is mixed on the president and congressional democrats, but they don't want the republican agenda. 57% said they disagree with what republicans in congress are trying to do. bottom line, the country knows what they do not want, even as think still try to figure out what they do. the polls also offer a lesson in how effective the president's
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bully pulpit can be. more americans say they are now in favor of stricter gun laws than at any time since 2000, that was right after the columbine shooting. 61% believe gun laws should be more strict, 4% believe they should be less strict, 34% say they should be kept the way they are. that more strict number is already up five points from our last poll a month ago. the president's campaign is working. gun issues are hshowing up everywhere. and they are asked to volunteer where they would like to see the republicans compromise with the president. obama's push for stricter gun law checks comes at number two, right after the issue of tax loopholes. a huge partisan divide does remain on the gun issue. 82% of democrats support stricter laws, compared with 37% of republicans, and independents are down the middle. but support for stricter gun laws is up four points among democrats and up 3 points among republicans, and even up among
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self-described independents. and the regional breakdown, support for stricter gun laws, even in the northeast, where many states already have strict laws and support is already high, but it's up four points in a month in the west. four points in the midwest. and it's up a full eight points in the south. and support for stricter laws is up four points in urban communities, three points in suburban communities, and this is a big one, it's up nine points in rural communities. the supreme court hears oral arguments today in a case that challenges a key provision of the voting rights act of the 1965. section five in the landmark law was included to prevent voter discrimination. it requires that certain states obtain permission from the federal government before changing any voting laws. those states include alabama, alaska, georgia, louisiana, mississippi, south carolina, texas, and virginia. parts of seven other states are also covered under the law. the state of alabama is challenging the requirement as outdated, arguing that high voter turnout among african-americans, as well as the election of an african-american president proved that the country has moved beyond the violations the
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law was designed to prevent. just a few minutes ago, longtime civil rights leader and georgia democratic congressman, john lewis, challenged that claim. >> we have come a great distance since then due in large parts to the voting rights act, but efforts the undermine the voting power of a minority did not end in 1965. there are still forces in this country that want to take us back, to another period, but we're not going back. we've come too far. we made too much progress to go back. >> there's also the issue of precedent. the supreme court upheld the act's constitutionality back in 1966, and it's been reauthorized by congress four times. in a political op-ed, two former judiciary committee chairman, including republican jim sens sensenbrenner said, "based on ample legal precedent and our systemic review during reauthorization, we expect the supreme court to continue to declare that section 5 is
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critical to protecting minority voting rights." and by the way, that it's congress' job to deal with this. . back to sequester, joining me now is david gregory, moderator of nbc's "meet the press." mr. gregory, good morning, on a wednesday morning. the end game. i say this because you asked this question of republican leaders, of folks at the white house, and other than hope, there doesn't seem to be a strategy. >> right. because i don't think we're at the end game yet. i think the key for republicans is how do they unlock some kind of entitlement cuts. which i think the white house is willing to do, just not yet. and for the white house, it is, it had to unlock tax reform that can raise some additional revenue. which they describe, and you know this as well, as, you know, the president's principled leadership, that he doesn't want to cave on something that he campaigned on, that he feels he's winning on, and that he can exact more pain on by laying out the consequences of all of this.
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>> but in the meantime, sequester is going to happen. >> right. >> it's going to happen and the cuts are going to be uneven as far as the public. the public is going to feel it in different ways. >> right. >> it's not like the fiscal cliff. >> a community like the president was in yesterday, newport news, they're going to feel it pretty quickly. but not all parts of the country will. so public opinion, as a driver of this, it doesn't seem it's going to hit the way the white house -- >> and this is where i think the end game is tricky. i don't think the white house can really game out whether there's this tide of public opinion that is to their benefit. and republicans, by the way, talking to republican congressional leaders and aides, they say, look, yes, our poll shows this. you can beat the republican brand down, i don't know how it can get much lower. >> but individual members still feel like they've got enough fortitude in their done districts to challenge the president. indeed, the president attacking them may only make them more popular. >> and a couple of folk on the senate side say to me, because boehner got that scare of a
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lifetime during the fiscal cliff negotiations, where he was accused by some conservatives of caving on taxes, there's no way that mitch mcconnell comes up with the magical deal at the end, because he's now got to worry about re-election. >> and fiscal cliff was different. because you could argue this as preventing a tax hike, you know, across the board, by doing the deal that they did. you had a real consequence that was staring everybody in the face, that the public was responding to. and in this case, boehner believes that if he goes in there and negotiates with the president, it takes all the pressure off of this these senate democrats in particular -- >> he wants the little guys. >> he wants them to take some of the tough medicine. as you laid it out, the public is not going to feel this right away. the public outcry is going to be a little bit different. i think the battle could be, you know, in the continuing resolution. does the white house even want to raise the specter of a government issue >> but they have to be willing to do that to get their way. do we really think the white house is willing to raise the specter of a shutdown? >> i don't know. but i know it's better from
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their point of view than having this debate around the debt ceiling again. >> that's true, but republicans don't want that. >> we don't want that either. >> we know viewers having whiplash on this whole issue. dave gregory, see you later in the week. up next, the republican brand, how low can it go? our pollsters will be here to dig deeper into our brand-new poll. plus, final farewell. we're live at the vatican where tens of thousands have gathered to hear the pope's last message to his followers. and by the way, the sky is falling. no, it has nothing to do with sequester. it's about actual things falling from the sky. just how many objects are on a potential collision course with the earth and why is one congressman say we're not prepared for that danger. and by the way, this actually does have to do with budget cuts and we'll tell you why. but first, a look ahead at today's politics planner. chuck hagel has been sworn in. that has already happened. he is now the secretary of defense. you're watching "the daily rundown," only on msnbc.
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one big thing in the middle of this poll that you can't afford to miss is democrats are clobbering republicans right now on the issues. we tested 12 separate ones, asking which party respondents think is doing a better job. republicans have lost ground on 11 of them. democrats lead the republicans by double digits on six of them, including looking out for the middle class on dealing with medicare, health care, gun violence, social security, energy policy. they're up single digits on issues like immigration, taxes, and the economy. the last two essentially a flip. republicans now only lead on three issues, reducing the federal deficit. controlling spending, but,
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again, their advantage is down. the only place they saw a rise was insuensuring a strong natio defense. joining us now, micah roberts and john yang. micah, i'll start with you to try to defend this a little bit for your party. what do you tell a client when you look at these numbers. what i found fascinating, the democratic number didn't necessarily move on this issue, it was the republicans that were losing ground. it's as if the fall hasn't stopped. >> and i think that there's some truth to that. but you've got to also take a look at what -- which of these issues are traditional democratic advantage issues, and which of them are republican -- >> let's look at the single digit ones. that's where the democrats are with the single digits, those are the swing issues, right? >> right. and if you look among independents, if you kind of parse out the partisans and look at independents, there's not a much rosier, but a slightly rosier picture. and also, just having perspective, and i'm going to
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sound a little bit like a broken record, because i've said this before. if you look back at march 2002, eight months before we gained 63 seats in the house, we aren't far from where we are today. >> march of 2010. >> i'm sorry, march of 2010. we aren't far from where we are today. and that gives you some perspective about how much is baked in here and also what it means for electoral -- >> i want to go back to the larger theme that it seemed to be throughout this poll. and that is, if you took the president and democratic numbers in isolation, you'd sit there, oh, they're treading water, maybe losing ground a little bit. but when you put the comparison in and throw in the alternative and the republican party, the joke is, the president's the tall guy at the short guy convention. >> absolutely. >> and this shows sort of the same thing. >> i think in the big picture, this does not help anybody. at some point, we're all going to be dragged down a little bit. i would argue for the republican party, and micah and peter heart have both said, on our calls, that, you know, things change, take the long perspective. i think the problem for the republicans, chuck, is on these issues of taxes and the economy,
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where republicans were ahead and now democrats are ahead, those are republican issues, for the most part. and my thing is, when we did the open end in the poll, the republicans aren't defined by what they're for. they're defined by what they're against. and, you know, the party of reagan and kemp, optimistic, pro-growth republicans, where is it? >> i noticed that too. it's almost like the public is viewing the party the same way. the public doesn't know what wants. there are mixed views, on his agenda, it was basically a one to one ratio saying they like it versus they don't like it. but they know what they don't want, and it's a republican agenda. >> yeah, there's a larger story here in this poll. and it is a rebuke of everything that's happening in washington. yes, the republicans do have serious issues to confront, tactical problems, messaging problems, but we also need to take a wider stance and say, there is a bigger rebuke of washington. 51% economic confidence, which
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you've discussed. you know, you can't look at this poll and just talk about problems for republicans. >> fred, i want to put up the obama job rating on the economy. it was striking, some of the dramatic drops in his approval rating under specific entities, college graduates, 50% approval on the economy in january. that's down 12 points, down to 38. democrats, it's down double digits. you see, even among his base, the approval rating of how he's handling the economy, down. this is hurting him across the board. >> yes. and i would say two things, he's not running against someone, number one. that always helps, right, to have a foil. >> when he was, everyone looked at it in comparison. >> and number two, since the election, really, what have we been talking about? and it's no fault of the administration, it's what it is. it's not really the economy, it's this mess in washington. and i think the one thing about that point is, we all know that the public thinks that the problem in washington is partisanship. >> right. >> it appears the republicans
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don't have a solution to that. and actually, they're making that worse. >> that was an interesting point we threw in there the first time. who is doing what to unify. again, split, you can see, it's kind of divided along independents and democrats, they think the president's a little more unifying, the republicans think he's partisan, but it was universal across the board. >> yeah. and if you look just among white adults, in this poll, you can see that they disagree with everything. i mean, democrats, republicans, and president obama, what he's proposing, what everybody's proposing. it is a larger problem. and so that's what we need to get across. but also, in talking about the economy and approval, you know, he's not going to be running against anybody for the next four years. he still has four years. >> speaking of sort of this republican -- we did -- we tested chris christie and marco rubio, who we think right now are two most, of all of the potential 2016ers, and their positive and negative rating. chris christie, more popular,
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broadly, across the board had positive ratings, among democrats, independent and republicans, and more popular than rubio, but among republicans, rubio was more popular than christie. does that explain the cpac snub, for instance? >> i think what you have here are two, a very deep bench of very attractive leadership on the republican side. so that's very exciting, sitting here, four years out from the next presidential election, seeing two very, very attractive leaders. >> are you surprised at how they have pretty high name i.d. compared to where mccain and romney were at the start of the presidential election. >> for senator rubio, being on tv at the state of the union has not hurted and chris christie has seeped into popular culture. >> it helps that he governs a state right near the media hub of the world. we'll have a lot on our poll over the next week twor. a whole bunch of questions the there, drones, immigration, a ton of stuff we didn't get to. we'll get to it throughout the
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next seven to ten days. up next, turning up the heat in the race for south carolina's open house seat. wait until you see what ted turner's son is using to hit mark sanford. and boy, does he hit him where it hurts. and we'll go live to the vatican. and what the pope said this morning about why he chose to step down. but first, today's trivia question. which president died with confederate money in his pocket? first person to tweet the correct answer @chucktodd and @dailyrundown will get an on-air shout-out. the answer and more is coming up on "the daily rundown." in the world. it's delicious. so now we've turned her toffee into a business. my goal was to take an idea and make it happen. i'm janet long and i formed my toffee company through legalzoom. i never really thought i would make money doing what i love. [ robert ] we created legalzoom to help people start their business and launch their dreams. go to legalzoom.com today and make your business dream a reality. at legalzoom.com we put the law on your side.
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the best ingredient is love. none of us think bad things are gonna happen to us. i'm here at my house on thanksgiving day, and i have a massive heart attack right in my driveway. an artery in your heart, it's called the widow maker. and mine was 95% blocked. they took me to the hospital, and the doctor put me on a bayer aspirin regimen. [ male announcer ] aspirin is not appropriate for everyone, so be sure to talk to your doctor before you begin an aspirin regimen. i'm a blue-collar worker. to me, bayer aspirin is another tool. go talk to your doctor. you're not indestructible anymore. ♪ on the campaign radar this morning, robin kelly is the democratic nominee in the race to replace disgraced former congressman jesse jackson in illinois. she led the field ahead of debby halvorson. she is expected to easily hold the seat for democrats in the
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march 19th general election. kelly, who has vowed to become a leader in the federal fight for gun control gained huge momentum from michael bloomberg's gun control super pac which poured money into tv ads attacking halvorson and favoring kelly. bloomberg put out this statement, this is an important victory for common sense leader on gun violence and it's the latest sign that voter across the country are demanding change from their represent ttytives i washington and not business as usual. but it's an urban district where gun control was already popular. let's see how this works in places more rural and more swing districts. in other special election news, teddy turner, the son of ted turner, who's vying for the open house seat in south carolina's first congressional district has launched a new tv ad telling viewers to break up with career politicians. it's clear, though, he's singling out one republican opponent. check it out. >> just give me one more chance. >> break up with career politicians, the right guy,
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teddy turner. >> not so subtle hint who he's talking about there, if you see the mark sanford picture in the background. turner, of course, is the son of cnn founder, ted turner, and one of many republicans trying to beat former governor mark sanford. we'll have more on this race in tomorrow's show when we talk to one of the democratic candidates in that race, elizabeth cullbert busch. but she goes by kolbert. and tens of thousands of people jammed st. peter's square for pope benedict's final audience this morning, cheering and waving signs that read "thank you" in italian. anne thompson is live for us at the vatican. and anne, i know the pope gave a reason for why he's leaving. what did he share with the crowd? >> reporter: well, he told them, chuck, it was a very personal address during his final papal audience. usually those sermons are a lesson on religion, but he spoke quite eloquently about his eight years as pontiff and why he was
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stepping down. he said his eight years had been filled with joy and difficulty and he said at some times, he felt like the lord was sleeping during his eight years. he acknowledged, again, that the reason that he was stepping down was because of age. he fired back at his critics, as much as a pope will fire back, saying that, you know, the critics who said that the pope should not come down from the cross, he said, there are different ways to serve on the cross and that the life that he has chosen of prayer and meditation, that will begin thursday night, that is another way to serve the church. again, he told the people, he is not leaving the church, but finding different way to serve. and he actually ad libbed something when he got up on the stage and looked out at this crowd. just 150,000 people, is what the vatican is estimating came out to see this final audience. and he said, you know, people talk about the church being in decline, but i see it as a church alive. and then after he got down, at
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about noon, after the popemobile left st. peter's square, suddenly, on his twitter account, appeared this, "if only everyone could experience the joy of being christian, being loved by god, who gave his son for us." now, his last tweet will come tomorrow, and then after that that twitter account goes silent until a new pope is chosen and if that pope chooses, he, too, can use the handle @pontifacts. >> msnbc will have continuing coverage of the pope's final day, the resignation all day today and tomorrow, including that final meeting he will have with the cardinals and his official departure from the vatican. up next, it's a bird, it's a plane, no, it's a rock the size of half a football field hurtling towards earth at speeds of over 17,000 miles per hour. we're taking a deep dive into the threat of objects falling from the sky and whetherw should
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new vidal sassoon pro series salon genius. brilliantly priced. today's deep dive, skyfall. earlier this month, a pair of major astronomic events gave the world a wake-up call. the fall of a meteor over russia became an internet sensation. the object is believed to be around 50 feet wide and 10,000 tons when it entered the earth's atmosphere injured some 1,200 people when it slammed into earth. the meteor was a surprise, even more so because it came just hours before another cosmic event. later the same day, an asteroid passed about 17,000 miles from earth, closer than some satellites. the astronaut was expected, but it hadn't been on nasa's radar, until its discovery by an observatory in spain a couple
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years before. these two objects have put a new spotlight on objects that pose a risk to earth on any given day. most burns up or is so small we don't know it. nasa is aware of some 20,000 pieces of debris that are currently orbiting the earth that are the size of a softball or large. but the real concern is around neos or near earth objects or asteroids that could conceivably enter our atmosphere. 863 are asteroids with a diameter roughly half a mile or larger, which if they struck earth, could produce a major global catastrophe. a study from m.i.t. found that these kind of asteroids only hit the earth every 600,000 years or so, but smaller asteroids, like the ones that hit russia, are far more common, like once every hundred years. prior to this, the most famous example was the so-called
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tunguska event in 1978. an asteroid leveled 800 miles of forest and creating a seismic shock wave as far away as western europe. but the good news, no major asteroids are believed to be on a collision course with earth, though scientists admit they haven't detected all of them. that brings us to what washington can do with them. russ holt is a physicist, former director of the princeton plasma physics laboratory. congressman holt, you know, not everybody that's a member of congress is a physicist, so that's why we like having you on. nasa, i guess the thing that is so disturbing -- the thing that is so disturbing about what happened in russia and what happened with that asteroid is that our own space program, nasa, did not know about either incident first. that it was sort of discovered elsewhere. why is that? >> well, over the last ten years, our tracking has grown tremendously, from following just a few dozen meteors,
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asteroids, over, you know, a decade ago, to now tracking, as you point out, 10,000 to 20,000. your lead-in was really very complete and very good. and it's -- we've come a long way in tracking these things. in 2005, congress directed nasa to be able to track 90% of these objects that are greater than 150 feet. and we're nowhere close to that yet. the goal was to achieve that by 2030. in order to do that would require a much larger program than exists now. but they are seeing more and more of them. so if there is one that poses a real hazard, a more immediate threat to the earth, we have a pretty good chance or, i guess, at this point, a fair chance of detecting it. >> well, but we wouldn't have detected the russian -- should
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the russian meteor, the meteor that hit russia, been something nasa, by 2030, should be able to detect? >> the russian -- the meteor that exploded a couple weeks ago, you know, it might have been detected, but it was not in the goal, in the target group. so the size is smaller than this, you know, goal to detect 90% of the 150-foot and larger me meteoroids by 2030 and attract them. >> obviously, nasa has been something the president has been willing to cut. when he offers budget cuts, nasa is always the first on the chopping block. ditto with congress. there isn't this same popularity to nasa as there was 20 and 30 years ago, when congress enjoyed giving it money. should this be part of national
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defense, in a way? and if it was, to be a total cynic here, since the defense department always gets the money it wants, would that speed up the ability of nasa to do this? >> well, nasa is now funded at about $20 million for this program. the national academy of sciences said it would take about $50 million a year to be able to reach this goal of detecting and tracking 90% of these. i'm sure your viewers are wondering, why is chuck todd talking about meteors, you know, on the eve of the huge budget cuts. well, you know, there is an appropriate role for government. and in this -- in the days of these strong anti-government campaigns, it's worth remembering that the government does have a role in protection and defense and security and in inspection, and enforcement of food safety and environmental
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pollution. and yes, things that fall from the sky. so, this is not a time to be talking about budget cutting, i would argue. >> all right. rush holt, congress' only physicist, perhaps, probably, at least on the iq basis, the smartest guy in congress. >> well, thanks, chuck. >> some people might say that's a low bar these day, but, anyway, rush holt, thank you very much. developing now, this picture just into msnbc. this is him, the new secretary of defense, chuck hagel, being sworn in just moments ago. the gaggle will be here next. but first, the white house soup of the day. hey, this one sounds really good. black-eyed pea soup with smoked turkey. that's a good one. i would like a little bit of that. we'll be right back. [ washer and dryer sounds ]
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live pictures of the supreme court when in a few minutes, the justices will begin hearing arguments to the landmark rights act of 1965. and more developing news on the sequester front. our own frank thorpe is reporting from a congressional source that president obama will meet with congressional leaders on friday. it's the day that $85 million in quers kruts set to kick in. so on that note, let's bring in our wednesday gaggle. perry bacon jr. from the associated press, liz sidoti, and my colleague on the capitol hill side of things, mr. mike viqueira. mike viqueira, we knew this photo op was going to happen and it needed to happen. but, wow, so cynical that they do it on friday. let's not even pretend to try to do it before the sequester kicks in. >> no last-minute miracle solutions are going to come forth. especially the day after the senate is going to have their big throwdown. a big rhetorical meltdown. the house won't likely even be around.
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they're never here on fridays. i mean, basically, what you have here is the main parties involved, they couldn't not meet. i mean, so this is very perfunctory in a way. and it's superficial. it's for show. >> by the way, it's the four of them together. whenever it's four of the leaders, all four, nothing gets done. it's -- it is nothing happening. >> so they're basically teeing it up for saturday when the world falls apart, or does it? >> that's the thing, liz. what's interesting here is how the republican is responding to this. the president, he's basically made the decision he's not going to get caught up in washington wars. the mistake they made in the debt ceiling was playing the washington games, trying the outside game. except, i look at our poll numbers and i see the beginnings of the same impact that the debt ceiling had, beats the living daylights out of republicans, but he steps in the quicksand too. >> yeah. well, i think the answer here, if they're looking at it, is who's going to be punished less by the public? >> right now, it's clearly the president. >> right.
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so instead of deciding to compromise and, you know, actually get them all in a room and both sides coming together, what each of them are doing is trying not to be the guy whose worse off in terms of the politics. but let's be honest, the politics are terrible here. the public doesn't like washington as it is. thinks it can't get anything done. so the blame is going to be spread around, but who gets blamed the least, is what they're going for? >> and what the white house's strategy is, they think republicans are going to break. it's like, what is your end game here? they broke on taxes. i don't see the same old types of breaking. >> "the post" is a good story, the sequester, unlike the debt ceiling, those things affected everyone. basically you have now 3 million people who will be furloughed, who will be really, really effected, but in some districts, no one's affected at all if you're a republican. so the need to compromise is not the same on december 31st when everyone's tax would have gone up otherwise. the incentives is, it's not the same kind of crisis.
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>> mike, what do the republicans -- the republican's messaging here is so muddled. >> what is their play, really? >> they have no end game here either. >> the white house plan is hope. but i don't know what the republican plan is. >> you can argue that john boehner is advocating -- oh, the senate's going to do it and they're falling back on what, really, in all objectivity, has to be called a really thin read. we've already done this twice -- >> no they haven't. >> you can't on one hand say the american sent back a majority and then say that doesn't matter. it's very incongruous. on the other hand, john, he doesn't have a lot of plays here. and you might argue that john boehner is the only thing standing between the republican party and utter chaos. look how he afinessed the fisca cliff thing. he got them to abdicate or leave the rule. >> but you've got to ask you yourself, if it was so bad, why
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isn't the white house having -- >> the sky is not going to fall on friday. it's not going to fall on saturday either. these will be gradual cuts that into when we deal with the threat of a government shutdown at the end of march. they'll have a chance to revisit this stuff. >> in three months, the economy is going to stink. >> that's what the president is talking about every day. and this is a real issue that does matter. the republicans can't win support of the republican anyway. they're so far down, very worried about the tea party and conservatived. and how much lower can it go? >> when you have nothing left to lose. an old country song. >> freedom -- >> please don't sing. please don't sing. >> trivia time! we asked, which president died with confederate money in his pocket. the answer, abraham lincoln, according to library of congress. among the items in lincoln's pockets when he was shot, two pairs of glasses, a pocket knife, a handkerchief, and a
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leather wallet containing a $5 confederate note and nine newspaper clippings. congratulations to today's winner, doug mataconis. he was actually second in, but we're trying to space it out. if you have a political question, promise we'll have return winners. e-mail theda thedailyrundown@msnbc.com. we're writing policy as we go. we'll be right back. some people will do anything to help eliminate litter box odor. ♪ discover tidy cats pure nature. clumping litter with natural cedar, pine, and corn. otherworldly things. but there are some things i've never seen before. this ge jet engine can understand 5,000 data samples per second. which is good for business. because planes use less fuel, spend less time on the ground and more time in the air.
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bringing back the gaggle. okay. chris christie. cpacs. why was chris christie snubbed? it's like the all-star game for professional athletes. you get invited when you have an outstanding year. hopefully he'll have another all star year in the future. here are the list of people who
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are apparently on the inviteee all star list. sarah palin, newt newt gingrich, artur davis, mia love. allen west. lost, lost, lost. >> these are not the rising stars of the republican party. maybe chris christie is right. >> chris christie is too popular with swing voters? >> basically. he's running for re-election in new jersey. >> doing him a favor. >> whatever happened to the european football league? all right. shameless plugs. mike viqueira. >> terp-a-thon is an annual danza thon benefiting children's medical center, march 9th, 12:00 p.m. to 12:00 midnight the university of maryland. >> i don't know how i read about you reading your plug. >> better than mine. i was going to say the caps won big last night. >> an article in "time" magazine on health care policy and how it works in america. you got to read it. you'll learn a lot. >> talk about content.
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a lot of content in that. that is it for this edition of the daily rundown. tomorrow on the show elizabeth colbert bush the sister of the comedian stephen colbert. she is running in south carolina's upcoming election. she has a real shot for the seat once held by tim scott. coming up next commit jansing. bye-bye. but i'm still stubbed u. [ male announcer ] truth is, nyquil doesn't unstuff your nose. what? [ male announcer ] alka-seltzer plus liquid gels speeds relief to your worst cold symptoms plus has a decongestant for your stuffy nose. thanks. that's the cold truth! work the camera... work it! those hands. oooh la la! what's your secret? dawn? [ female announcer ] dawn hand renewal with olay beauty improves the look and feel of hands in 5 uses. love it, or get double your money back.
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